INTRODUCTION

Nouns are words that name persons, places, things, actions, and ideas. For example boy, girl, table, chair, peacock, honesty, happiness, wisdom, book etc.

Nouns are naming words. They identify people, things or place in our world.

 

WHAT IS NOUN?

Words that name people, places, things, qualities or activities are called nouns. All naming-words are nouns.

In the following passage, various types of nouns have been highlighted:

Reshma was beginning to get very tired of sitting by her sister on the bank, and of having nothing to do: once or twice she had peeped into the book her sister was reading, but it had no pictures or conversations in it, “and what is the use of a book,” thought Alice, “without pictures or conversations?”

So she was considering, in her own mind (as well as she could, for the hot day made her feel very sleepy and stupid), whether the pleasure of making a daisy-chain would be worth the trouble of getting up and picking the daisies, when suddenly a White Rabbit with pink eyes ran close by her.

Reshma is a noun that names a person.

Bank names a place.

Book names a thing.

Sitting names an activity.

Trouble names a quality.

 

KINDS OF NOUN AND THE RULES GOVERNING THE USAGE OF NOUNS

 

  1. A) Nouns are classified according to their meaning:

 

1) PROPER NOUN: A proper noun is the name of some particular person, place, thing, particular event, or group. This proper noun begins with a capital letter. If the noun is nonspecific, that is, the noun refers to a general idea and not a specific person, place, or thing, it is usually not a proper noun, so it it not capitalized.

For example, Santa Claus, May, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, USA, etc.

 

RULE : Some nouns appear as plural but they are singular in meaning and takes singular form of verb. These nouns are as follows: For examples,

Politics Draughts Innings
Rickets Ethics Billiards
Summons News Physics

 

  1. i) Billiards is good but Draughts is a nice game.
  2. ii) This news is fruitful to investigate the case.

iii) Physics deals with the study of matter and energy.

 

 

2) COMMON NOUN: A common noun is a name given in common to every person or thing of the same class of kind. For examples, bicycle, girl, bird, tree, city, etc.

 

RULE 1: Some nouns not only appear as plural but also are plural in meaning take plural form of verb. They are often things which have two parts joined together, i.e. trousers (trousers have two legs) etc.

 

Such kinds of nouns are as follows:

Scissors Trousers Clothes Headphones Refreshments
Sunglasses Goods Outskirts Headquarters Surroundings
Arrears Annals Remains Savings Tidings
Fireworks Bowels Spectacles Binoculars Customs
Thanks Odds Lodgings Archives Alms

 

NOTE:  Some of these plural nouns exist as singular noun also when used without ‘s’,

For eg : Goods (noun) —- Good (adj.) —- A good news

                Remains (noun) —- Remain (adj) —-  The remained particles

                Means (noun) —- Mean (adj) —- A mean person

  1. i) The odds are good that you will have the place to yourself.
  2. ii) Interest on arrears would not be considered for this calculation.

iii) I do not have enough savings that I cannot buy this dress.

 

RULE 2:  Some nouns remain same in both singular and plural forms. For examples,

Deer Fish Family
Aircraft Counsel Team
Carp Pike Jury

 

  1. i) One fish of yellow colour was dead in aquarium
  2. ii) Fish are looking beautiful in the aquarium.

iii) The family is considering its judgment.

  1. The family are considering their verdict.

 

RULE 3:  There are some common gender nouns: Teacher, child, advocate, servant, musician, student, leader etc. which are used for both females and males, these are also called dual genders. They are used as Third-person, Singular Pronoun and Masculine Gender (he/his/him) when are used in singular form. For examples,

 

  1. i) Every creature has his existence to some extent.
  2. ii) Each student has completed his project in time.

iii) No one has forget his responsibility towards his country.

 

RULE 4:  If the same noun is used before and after the preposition,  in this case, the noun is written in its singular form. For examples,

 

  1. i) Bird after bird is flying high above the ground
  2. ii) The post master provides his service from door to door.

iii) Town after town was developed in his administration.

 

3) COLLECTIVE NOUN: A collective noun is a name of a number (collection) of persons or things taken together and spoken of as one whole as: Crowd, mob, team, flock, herd, army, fleet, jury, family, nation, parliament, committee. In general, Nouns that refer to a specific group of persons or things are called Collective Nouns.

 

RULE 1: Some nouns are plural in their meaning and follow the plural form of verb but appear as singular nouns: For examples,

Cattle Clergy Peasantry
Infantry Cavalry Poultry
Police Gentry Children

 

  1. i) The clergy were influential but kept in order by the civil power
  2. ii) Police have suspected the of victim’s servant.

iii) Children are playing in the garden.

 

RULE 2:  Some nouns exist in plural form but when are used with some definite numeral adjective, they cannot be pluralise. For examples, Score, Dozen, Pair, Thousand, Hundred, Million etc.

 

  1. i) I bought three dozen oranges.
  2. ii) She donated five pair of shoes.

iii) The auditorium was crowded with about ten thousand followers of Swami ji.

 

NOTE: But if indefinite countable adjectives are used, then they can be pluralize.

For examples, many pairs of shoes, hundreds of people, millions of dollars etc.

 

4) MATERIAL NOUN: There are the raw elements or objects existing in nature. For example, gold, mat, iron, water, etc.

 

5) ABSTRACT NOUN: An abstract noun is usually the name of a feelings, ideas, action, state and characteristics, or qualities considered apart from the object to which it belongs. For example, bravery, poverty, enmity, laughter, etc.

 

 

RULE: Some  nouns can used only in singular form as these are uncountable. Articles a, an, the cannot be used with such nouns. For example,

Business Bread Jewellery Luggage
Crockery Breakage Mischief Money
Wastage Scenery Furniture Advice
Postage Postage Information Hair

 

  1. i) The information of bomb attack in the city was sham.
  2. ii) In my knowledge, she would not be here.

iii) The Scenery of Nainital was mesmerizing.

 

These nouns are not pluralize by adding ‘s’ to it but use some words with them.

  1. i) Various sorts of furniture are found in this shop.
  2. ii) These pieces of information are necessary for the students.

iii) Some articles of stationery are lost by his friend.

 

Further, the nouns can be classified into two major types as : Countable and Uncountable nouns.

 

Countable Noun Uncountable Noun
Definition Can be counted in numbers Cannot be counted in numbers
Example Mangoes, Rupees, Pages, etc. Money, Furniture, Time, etc.
Verb i) Singular with singular noun

ii) Plural with plural noun

Singular Verb
Adjective Many, Few, A number of, The number of. Much, Little, Quantity of
Article A/An/The can be used. Only ‘the’ can be used.

 

  1. B) FORMS OF NOUNS

There is a change in the spellings of various nouns, as they perform different functions in a sentence. On this basis, Nouns are of three types as discussed below:

 

1)  NOUN – GENDER (Masculine, Feminine, Common and Neuter):

  1. I) Masculine Gender Noun: Any noun that defines only manhood is said to be Masculine Gender Noun.

Examples: Father, Time, Summer, Violence, Power, Tiger, etc.

  1. II) Feminine Gender Noun: Any noun that defines only womanhood is said to be Feminine Gender Noun.

Examples: Mother, Peace, Earth, Lioness, Nature etc.

III) Common Gender Noun: Any noun that defines both man and woman is said to be Common Gender Noun.

Examples: Child, Infant, Thief, Student, Teacher, etc.

  1. IV) Neuter Gender Noun: Any noun that defines the non-living things is said to be Neuter Gender Noun.

Examples: Copy, Radio, House, Trees etc.

 

 

MASCULINE FEMININE
Author Authoress
Priest Priestess
Director Directress
Governor Governess
Doctor Lady-Doctor
Drake Duck
Fox Vixen

 

 

2) NOUN – NUMBER (Singular-Plural):

  1. I) Singular Noun: Any noun that stands for only one person or thing is said to be

Examples: boy, woman, child, pan, etc.

  1. II) Plural Noun: Any noun that stands for more than one person or thing is said to be plural.

Examples: boys, women, children, pans, etc.

 

NOTE:  Some examples of such nouns are:

 

SINGULAR PLURAL
Son-in-law Sons-in-law
Dining-table Dining-tables
Step-brother Step-brothers
Pea-hen Pea-hens
Member of Parliament Members of Parliament
Man nurse Men nurses
Man lover Man lovers

 

Some other examples of various nouns are:

SINGULAR PLURAL
Foot Feet
Mouse Mice
Radius Radii
Genius Genii
Crisis Crises
Criterion Criteria
Phenomenon Phenomena
If Ifs
9 9s
S S’s
MLA MLAs
ATM ATMs

 

 

USE OF APOSTROPHE WITH ‘S

 

1) Use an apostrophe + (‘s) to show that one person/thing owns or is a member of something. 

Some of the examples are:

Mohan’s book Week’s holiday
a needle’s point Man’s account

 

2) Use an apostrophe after the “s” at the end of a plural noun to show possession.

Some of the examples are:

Horses’ tail Girls’ toy
Girls’ hostel For Jesus’ sake

 

3) No apostrophe is used with his, hers, yours, ours, its, theirs, etc.

Some of the examples are:

Yours truly His book
theirs home Her purse

 

4) Use of apostrophe with the compound nouns:

Some of the examples are:

daughter-in-law’s brother Mohan & Sons’s shop
Governor-general’s rules Commander-in-chief’s petitions

 

5) Do not use Double apostrophe:

Incorrect : My wife’s friend’s mother advised her not to drink cold water.

Correct :  The mother of my wife’s friend advised her not to drink cold water.

 

NOTE:   a) Apostrophe can be used with ‘no one, everyone, someone, somebody, anybody etc.’

For example, Everyone’s concern is no one’s concern.

  1. b) If ‘else’ is used after these words, then apostrophe is used with ‘else’.

For example, I obey your orders and nobody else’s.

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